The Volkswagen Polo is to be updated with a range of new technologies and efficient engines, along with a makeover inside and out.  The latest iteration of Volkswagen’s best-selling supermini which will feature these changes is due for launch this summer.

Chief among the changes for the Polo – over 14 million of which have been sold worldwide since its introduction in 1975 – is a range of advanced technology features that will be familiar to drivers of the latest Golf, as Volkswagen continues to democratise technology that advances safety, practicality, comfort and efficiency.

All new Polos will be equipped as standard with an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact.  Options include a Driver Alert System and Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Automatic Cruise Control.

A new optional Sport Select suspension system will be offered, using electronically controlled dampers to switch between two suspension settings.  Meanwhile a new electro-mechanical steering system improves efficiency and offers more precise control.

Volkswagen’s modular infotainment system, familiar to Golf drivers, is being introduced across the Polo range.  This touchscreen system includes a proximity sensor and a function that reacts to wiping movements by the fingers (as used on smartphones).

Under the bonnet, the revised Polo will feature a range of new EU6-compliant engines offering fuel efficiency improvements of up to 21 per cent over the old units.

New three- and four-cylinder petrol engines lead the changes.  There are two 1.0-litre MPI units, with 60 or 75 PS and two 1.2-litre four-cylinder TSI engines with 90 or 110 PS.  As before, a 1.4-litre TSI engine with cylinder deactivation (ACT) will be available, this time with power increased by 10 PS to 150 PS.  A range-topping Polo GTI with increased power will be available next year.

In the UK, the diesel-powered Polo BlueMotion is to be replaced with a new petrol-powered Polo BlueMotion TSI, which returns 68.9 mpg* on the combined cycle and emits just 94 g/km* of CO2.  It uses a new turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine that produces 90 PS.

Diesel power is provided for by two new three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDI engines (previously these were 1.2 and 1.6 litres), with 75 and 90 PS.

Exterior changes are subtle but effective, and include more precise lines on the redesigned front bumper and grille, with a chrome line that separates the front fog lights.  Optional LED headlights are a first in this class, and have a distinctive light signature.  At the rear there are new lights and a new bumper, while five new alloy wheel designs complete the look.

Inside, the driver faces wholly redesigned instruments and a new steering wheel, while a refreshed centre console with new heating and ventilation controls ensures ease of use.

Full details will be available when the new Polo opens for ordering in the UK in April.  First deliveries are expected in late July.  

* provisional data.  Final figures will be confirmed closer to launch.

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In the midst of a ferociously cold Michigan winter, the new Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept is all set to bring a hint of summer sunshine when it makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next week.

The Beetle Dune is based on the latest version of the iconic Volkswagen, and adds a cool, rugged off-road look. The body has been raised by 50 mm compared with a standard Beetle, while 19-inch wheels with large tyres lend an all-terrain look.  A rear-mounted ski-rack is reminiscent of those fitted to classic Beetles, and makes a perfect accessory for the season.  In the summer, it could hold a sandboard – the ideal accessory for surfing the sand dunes from which the Beetle Dune takes its name.

The latest Beetle Dune concept also revisits an idea from January 2000, when Volkswagen showed the New Beetle Dune concept in Los Angeles.  But while that vehicle was far from a production possibility, the Beetle Dune is very much based on the current production model, using the same 210 PS turbocharged petrol engine and six-speed DSG gearbox, providing power to the front wheels. 

Further information on and images of the Beetle Dune concept will be available after the car makes its debut at the NAIAS on 13 January.

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It may be raining across most of the UK, but car review website Carbuyer is already thinking of sunshine and blue skies ahead, and has given the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet the Best Convertible Award in the Carbuyer Car of the Year Awards. 

Commenting on the award, Carbuyer Editor in Chief Steve Fowler said: ‘Volkswagen’s latest Golf Cabriolet is the best yet.  It has all the attributes that make every other Golf so brilliant, but with a huge dollop of sex appeal.  It has its sensible side, but it sure knows how to let its hair down – it’s the perfect cabrio for Carbuyer users.’

The Golf Cabriolet features an electrically powered fabric roof which can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds and on the move at up to 18 mph, yet it retains a practical four-seat interior and a 250-litre boot.  The Golf Cabriolet range has something for everyone.  There are two diesel engines available – an abstemious 1.6-litre TDI with 105 PS and a torquey 2.0-litre 140 PS TDI – plus five petrol engines, from the smooth and frugal 1.2-litre 105 PS TSI, via the 1.4-litre 122 PS and 160 PS TSI petrols to the exuberant 2.0-litre 210 PS TSI Golf GTI Cabriolet and the powerful 2.0-litre 265 PS TSI Golf R Cabriolet.

Standard equipment across the Golf Cabriolet range includes Bluetooth telephone connectivity, DAB digital radio, air conditioning and alloy wheels.  From SE trim and above, this is complemented by 2Zone climate control, automatic lights and rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors and a wind deflector, among other items.  The range-topping R comes as standard with full leather upholstery including heated front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and a six-speed DSG gearbox.

Prices for the Golf Cabriolet start at £21,630 for the S with 1.2-litre 105 PS TSI engine and six-speed manual gearbox, and rise to £33,475 for the Golf R Cabriolet.

For more details of the Carbuyer Car of the Year Awards, visit, and for information on Volkswagen’s award-winning range of cars, please

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Pre-Crash is a proactive passenger safety system that identifies the possibility of an accident and automatically closes the electronic windows and optional panoramic sunroof. It also tensions the front seat belts as a precautionary measure. Combined with standard Volkswagen crumple zones, airbags and Isofix child seat fixings, all these measures mean that our cars score highly in the Euro NCAP independent safety ratings.

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Laser welding is becoming more and more important in car-making. A rigid body shell, crafted by state-of-the-art laser welding techniques, not only creates additional strength - offering greater protection and better road holding - but also ensures narrow, uniform gaps between the body panels, dramatically reducing wind noise. The ability of the laser to bundle light energy into ultra-thin beams is opening up new possibilities with regard to bodywork quality and stability, as the resultant weld seams are extremely narrow and precise. The highly amplified and bundled light beam in laser welding generates very high temperatures which melt the material on a focal point of around 0.5 to 1 millimetre in diameter. Because of its narrow working area, laser welding is particularly suitable for butt-welding of sheet metal panels. Its benefits lie in the higher strength of the joint and in the new design possibilities it offers.

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